The Parksider

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  1. Toronto

    Well we are into the second season and there is no sign of TWP “training anyone up”. Perez was going to train up grid iron players, but no sign of that. After entry Perez was going to China on the idea the country was full of undiscovered athletes. There are thousands of Canadian Rugby players being trained up but they are all being trained up for Rugby Union, Businesses cannot rely on poaching all their staff. We do not have “enough” players of Superleague standard to expand Superleague, TWP signed Blake Wallace who didn’t make NRL, he played in the NSW & Queensland cup second competitions, therefore it’s absurd for people to pretend that somehow Perez, Noble and Rowley do not know this player pool exists and are missing alleged SL quality players therein. Business need adequate skills up to a standard. Picking “the best” players up to the number we need does not work. How many times? Due to a lack of quality SL cut from 14 to 12 clubs but considered a cut to 10. If the players are not of a good enough quality they lose most of their games, they turn the fans and sponsors off and the TV company will not screen them. Their lack of skill means the business under performs and loses customers. We have allowed Leigh London and Toulouse to be “more professional environments outside SL”, and yes, every other year they will develop a gem, but to stock the extra clubs for a transatlantic league needs 150-180 more quality players. Businesses need adequate and assured staff levels, training and recruitment “Talent dilution is not a big deal”? See above when the SL went to 14 it diluted the talent and the lower clubs struggled badly. Businesses can't share staff, they need to strive to be the best. “Doing nothing for sure won't accomplish anything”. Don’t tell me tell Perez he’s the one who has done nothing to date and shows no sign of doing anything in the future.. You and the rest cannot stop blaming the other SL businesses, yet it's your owner and leader you should be having a pop at. He offers untold riches in 10 years time if Superleague will just give him "5-6" Superleague places and let him access "150-180" skilled players to staff these clubs. Not asking for much is he? It's quite ridiculous....... And it's not a business, If Australia, NZ, PNG & the Pacific is full of talent why hasn't Perez gone there? I expect the usual insults to be the answer.........
  2. Toronto

    You aren't speaking as a businessman when you write a big puff piece and slot in the above sentence hoping you can get away with passing off the massive flaws in Perez's openly stated business plan. Toronto in season two are dipping in exactly the same player pool as everyone else over here are. There is no Canadian Junior game, all the Canada kids play RU, none play RL, the North American Pro RU 14 is looking to professionalise a league soon, mopping up all the talent that may appear over there, whilst Perez talks of 5 to 6 North American clubs having to be set up over a 10 year period before any commercial benefits can be obtained. If you were a businessman and you wanted to open six businesses over 10 years and it was pointed out that the real world problem is there's no qualified staff on the market to stock those businesses unless you poach them which the established businesses won't stand for, would you as a proper businessman just dismiss such a fact as just being "negative" when it's a reality, because that is what you have done in your piece. If you are genuinely trying to achieve some sort of accord with RL fans here, then don't take them for fools, because many of them are businessmen too. The player issue is the elephant in the boardroom, as is the 10 year plan that gives North American RU a ten year start over North American RL and those are your problems for the business you support. Why as a businessman would you expect businessmen here to ignore these things and wave you through? What you want is charity.
  3. New York, Boston and Hamilton in 2019

    The North American project as stated by Perez, is to build six clubs within 10 years to create a quality professional transatlantic league that can attract big North American TV money so get your facts right. Either we shut down 6 clubs in England and ask the players to go backwards and forwards across the Atlantic which will just not work, as we already see players having problems with this, or we find 180 professional quality players from somewhere and you suggest from Australia? I appreciate your involvement in the game, maybe you can appreciate Brian Noble’s involvement as an International player and coach?? Your CV? Noble and his coaching team are into their second round of recruitment improving and fine tuning their hoped for Superleague team. Let’s look at where they have found their talent to date??? Sixteen English players most of which (9) have Leigh connections make up the core Toronto squad. There’s the odd Samoan, Albanian and a token USA and a token Canadian on the fringes, both of whom who can expect little game time. After that they have looked to Australia and had four NRL players signed who shared an average age of 33. They also shared a love of the high life and two are now sacked, so I think we may agree on over the hill rebel Australians. My point about how they often disappoint is agreed. We are left with your point, and Mr. Noble’s actions speak louder than words, and he has indeed scoured the NSW & Queensland cups and come up with one player, that being. Mr. Wallace. So if that is the sum total of talent that is available to go to live in North America and build this Transatlantic dream, then at five more North American clubs with 30 man squads plus replacements for the current Toronto Leigh reserve team, that makes another 179 Wallace’s needed as professional quality players from the NSW & Queensland cups, and you say they are there? If Aussie owner Mr. Argyle who knows the Aussie game big time because he played it (you forget this) isn’t pushing it, and if Mr. Noble on the facts above isn’t either, then that is why I find what you say about abundant pro-quality talent in Australian reserve leagues very hard to believe, and do not appreciate being called “Nuts” or "Ludicrous"(very poor gutter level debating). You say "you lot miss more then 99.9% of the playing pool down here". What are you on about us lot? Clearly it's TWP and Aussie Argyle and the Perez genius that are missing it (if it exists) by signing Leigh Reserves & over the hill Aussies, so your just playing the superior boasting Aussie.....
  4. New York, Boston and Hamilton in 2019

    I’m not saying you are wrong per se, my problem is that for a very long time now the English game has suffered from a lack of professional quality players to stock the Superleague clubs. We just don’t have enough development of such players in such a restricted geographical area. Bringing over surplus talented Aussies/kiwis was always a way around it, .players like Graeme Bradley, Tony Kemp, Terry Matterson, Vaiga Tuigamala come to mind from the early professional years. Going back another ten years I can recall Graeme Eadie and the Iro brothers. So it is the case that for over 30 years our club chairmen, coaches and scouts have gone over to Australia in numbers for good periods of time, meeting up with all their Aussie contacts in search of the additional quality talent, year on year, they need to keep the top league at it’s very best on the pitch. They have tried to bring the very best they can here and many are an asset to the game here. However a good percentage of them have been flops, and not particularly assets either, so on balance it could be that our guys have been misled, and haven’t actually found the mountain of enormous talent you are promising is out there. If you really know what YOU are talking about you could do well as an agent?? Anyway I’m just reflecting on who to choose from, do I believe the SL chairmen, their professional coaches, their scouts and their high level professional contacts in Australia that the Aussie player pool has little more to offer, or do I believe a really rather rude singular Aussie?? Send us your CV perhaps, who knows? you could surprise us? Same question for you, do you think the SL chairmen, coaches, scouts and their Australian counterparts are wrong? Or does this poster you don't know anything about simply say what you want to hear??
  5. OK so Cas have been up and down like a fiddlers elbow pre-licensing yet because they were at Old Trafford this year then no harm was obviously done?? Really?? Relegated clubs lose money as they don't get SKY funding to high levels, and they lose fan and maybe even sponsors income. Of course if they do not have a rich owner they crash and burn if they do then the owner e.g. Jack Fulton at Cas, (Davey at Fartown, Wilko at Salford) may step in and pop a £500K cheque in the kitty, to mitigate very real damage. Where there is no rich owner to mitigate the losses (Bradford, Oldham. Workington etc) then the clubs stay damaged and the effects can be long term So of course relegation harms and costs clubs, either a rich man covers the costs and the club comes back or they don't and the club sinks. How you and Scotchy both manage to go around in ever decreasing circles and miss the blooming obvious I dunno?? Sorry for the delay I will always answer genuine questions made in good faith. The 22 year history of Superleague is littered with examples where rules are constantly changed or bent. This is often to suit the Superleague clubs, but at times the RFL have swung a trick the SL clubs have begrudgingly accepted. IIRC London & Paris were shoved in and Keighley and Batley who won promotion barred in the first season,. Hunslet and Dewsbury gained promotions they were never given, Huddersfield came bottom four years in a row and were never relegated, Widnes didn't come bottom an were relegated, London and Catalans were invited in without winning promotion, London after terrible financial problems, and Catalans as a brand new club. Celtic Crusaders missed promotion yet were promoted, London and Crusaders(nearly) got licenses despite not really meeting the license criteria, Wakey constantly fail the ground criteria and stay in, Widnes showed the money up front but were refused SL entry, London and Bradford were hustled out of SL to accommodate the rushed new SKY deal, Toulouse were told they had to meet special criteria to be promoted or accepted into Superleague other clubs did not have to meet, guests clubs like TWP can be refused SL - so the list of "events" is quite long. They even tried to "invent" a 13th. place in Superleague to be able to invite HKR to take had they not won the MPG!!!!!! How about that one? Whatever people think about individual examples and want to disagree on the odd point, in general it's clear to me these do show how Superleague is not going to be bound by any rules if they don't want to be. It suited SL clubs to sit back whilst Marwan Koukash openly flouted the rules as well. Not only that but Superleague is no longer going to be dictated to by the RFL who were not averse to bribing SL clubs for votes for the new system. This is no criticism, the game is a business that does not make money, it struggles to survive, so of course they will waive or change any rule that it suits them to waive or change. They will invent any rule that suits them to invent. This is perfectly understandable.
  6. New York, Boston and Hamilton in 2019

    So there are thousands of professional quality Rugby League Players ready to populate scores of Superleague clubs around the world? North America probably only need 400, but if there are thousands, then obviously we can expand Superleague across Europe and down through Central America into south America. The only way it seems we can keep this fantasy league alive is invent a fantasy pool of players (topped off by a North American fantasy JARL). All rugby kids in Canada play RU and of course they have the RU's Pro14 professional competition to look to join in future if they want a real life career. I'd agree much is being made up in people's heads, however back in the real world it's a hard fact that the SL club chairmen feared that HKR may not have got back in SL via the MPG. As reported in the RL press you never read (why read anything, making it up is nicer) they considered going to 14 clubs to ensure HKR got back. They all had the help and advice of their scouting and coaching staff with regards to the ramifications of two more teams and where the quality of player would come from. Last time we had 14 teams London and Bradford collapsed on the pitch and the lack of quality players hit Wakefield even after the cut to 12. This showed (in the real world) that we only just had access to enough quality pro talent to run at 12, and it showed we could not offer SKY a product that was a shambles at the bottom end. Some commentators with a little more expertise than you two had suggested 10 clubs to provide a high and even quality of sides and competitive games. Do "we" believe you or Jamie Peacock? Anyway the chairmen's unanimous view on advice of their coaches and scouts was the quality player barrel was empty, we could not risk another London 2014 (hammered all year) or Wakefield 2015 (equally hammered week after week - when I bet you complained) Do I believe what Great Dane says against the professional scouting teams and coaches and their Chairmen (and Jamie Peacock!!) that all we have to do is look under a stone and there they will be? Well people should make their own logical minds up themselves, but consider that ever since the 1900's when NZ and Australia first toured and Welsh players were playing in the RL, the search for quality players has been global. They appeared in France in the 1930's, South Africans came in the 1950's Fijians in the 1960'sand the first north american rolled off the production line in 1912. Congratulations to you two (and Winyasson) for finding a massive pool of top class players ready to stock four more competitive Superleague teams, you boys really went some to outfox all the Superleague coaching staff who are clearly blind to the reality of this fantasy there is an army of top RL players just waiting to be signed on.
  7. I don't think we would "struggle" at all John there were no dilemma's when we had P & R. When Hunslet and Dewsbury were not strong enough to be promoted Superleague didn't let them in, and when Widnes, HKR, Salford, HKR etc were strong enough they did let them in. This "management" of P & R worked pretty darn well. The problem with Steve's Opening Post is where he talks about "automatic P & R". SL can't and won't let Toulouse in if they win the Championship unless they produce SL quality French players and they certainly won't let TWP in with a squad full of Papua New Guineans (this being the latest crackpot idea) Leigh, if they won the Championship, they would let in of course, they've bunged them a load of money to make that happen. Batley if they won it may see Mr. Nicholas refuse to go up - fair enough. It would probably be OK for Leigh to replace Widnes or Salford who are tipped to struggle in SL this year. Lenegan's original P & R plan was a time protection of two seasons in SL for the promoted clubs. I'm sure that will be back on. I think there were relatively few problems with P & R from 1999 onwards, because it was managed and not automatic. Pearson's and Carter's recent interviews hinted heavily at it coming back. managed sensibly I just cannot see any real dilemmas, because as it stands (and I disagree completely with Red Rooster on this) most Championship clubs aren't up to SL so they won't go up. A rebuilt Bradford may be the next club to knock on the door after Leigh in a couple of years. Beyond those two the other Championship clubs would simply not be an assett to SL either through an inability to produce SL players, or simply having no rich owner, so they would not be let in. Lenegan isn't the sort to allow things to be left to chance hence the Leigh "bung".
  8. New York, Boston and Hamilton in 2019

    Yes I think so. We need to work hard to open another 8 North American clubs so we can get to 12 perhaps two a year 2020-2024 in time for the world cup over there?? Like TWP/Leigh each new club needs to be allocated a partner in the English Championship, kind of New York/Batley, Hamilton/Featherstone, Boston/Halifax so they can player share to get teams up and running ASAP. In time we won't need the Championship clubs once the conferences start, I'd propose a good number of cross conference games, so we could sell off the Championship club grounds to pay for our own jets to take teams backwards and forwards, maybe one jet at Leeds/Bradford and another at Manchester. We do need to ensure that the 24 Superleague clubs are compitetive so we will need a draft system. Pre-season all 680 players should be registered and we can hold a "draft convention" drawing lots for the order of pick and then clubs can take it in turns to pick the players they want for the season one at a time. We need a neutral venue for the Grand final, I suggest an island in the North Atlantic - a holiday destination where there will be plenty of hotel places available in October? We can hold the player draft there? Placing New York straight to the Championship may be an issue but we did that sort of thing with London, Paris, Gateshead and Catalans straight to SL. For the sake of the future of the game Bradford Bulls, favourites to go up, could just shut down and we could use Odsal for training facilities for visiting NA teams, maybe even build a hotel there to cut accommodations costs? Odsal is very central and bang on the motorway links to the SL grounds? This is exciting times........
  9. Michael Carter / TV deal etc (Merged threads)

    I think Scotchy has it right that SKY must pay enough to enhance the product, otherwise they will defeat the whole purpose of buying it. The last deal ended prematurely with clubs £68M in debt and collapsing at the bottom end. SKY therefore came in with more money and SL did their bit with a cut to 12 SL clubs. As a business Superleague is effectively subsidised by SKY to run professionally, and I don't see that that subsidy provides any opportunity to grow revenues to make the clubs become "non-reliant" on it, in what is a highly competitive market. If there are other broadcasters in the mix fighting for the rights with SKY (some chairmen felt BT may have been an option, but it appears they weren't) then maybe. Some feel America will provide that more lucrative option, but that comes at a heavy price shifting our game over there that logistically won't work. If you look at the 1904 league table they are all in there, Bradford, Salford, Wire, Leeds, HKR, Wigan, Hull, Widnes, Leigh and Fartown with Wakey and Saints achieving promotion. 114 years later they are all still in there plodding on, just in a more modern scenario. I don't read too much into what Carter says, for 22 years now we've stayed alive with SKY and gone professional into the bargain, and that's been great for the game. (Not great for the Championship clubs though)
  10. Here we go again, back to abandoning the village clubs along the M62 and transferring the 12 SL franchises to the 12 most populous cities across the Northern hemisphere. No appreciation whatsoever that along the M62 we can get most quality Rugby players to pick Rugby league first, and we can accommodate them through a quality junior amateur RL structure, into an academy structure with quality coaches and facilities. No idea that across the wastelands you want us to inhabit Union has the infrastructure and the clubs to mop up the talent, and offer the talent the bigger stage and the bigger salaries. This includes North America where they play union and are getting ready for a pro league in the here and now - not in their dreams. No appreciation that London were put into SL and made to stay there for 18 consecutive years to challenge Union for the talent, and as hard as that was against soccer and RU London, with their backers Branson, Lenegan and Hughes did as well as they could to open their doors and attract rugby players to league, and they had and still get with this kid, some super successes despite the dominance of Union and soccer. We did what we reasonably could do, Richard Lewis forced the clubs to persevere, but in the end it didn't work, it didn't have enough infrastructure, it had too much competition, too many costs, and now it doesn't have the private backing. So what would you do then? Put London back in to fail badly or award them quadruple SKY money and extra cap dispensation to help them build and compete?. Thing is like a lot of my fellow expansionists you never say. As long as a name for a club crops up that isn't along the M62 and is a big place it suddenly becomes a "serious" issue and a pin is stuck in a map , and gross assumptions are made people will flock to the game to play it and pump their £Millions into it. Too late mate, Union and Soccer beat us, so we can only do what we can feasibly and sensibly do. Easy to criticise.
  11. What do Leigh offer Super League?

    Why not explain which Commercial contracts Toulose or Toronto will be bringing to Superleague upon entry next year. You just don't say? What are they and how much are they worth?? Why do you think two small clubs playing a minority sport can capture commercial contracts of any real value? Franchises aren't a possibility given that Superleagues line has been a return to P & R whether Lenegan's 2015 plan to do this or Beaumont and Pearson's nod to P & R before and after Christmas in their published interviews. As Pearson says SL will investigate whether Toronto are even "serious" about what they are doing. Perez himself offered no commercial contracts of any relevant value until he had guided "5-6 North American clubs into Superleague over the next 10 years". Your way off beam and wishful thinking on this. This isn't a board game its real lives and it's intolerable to expect English professionals with homes and families here to commute to America to ply their trade, it's intolerable to even contemplate 5-6 English clubs being shut down as professional clubs along with their academies and Foundations to make way for these NA clubs? All Perez is doing is taking advantage of the plan to hold the World Cup in America 2025, he's a chancer challenging the game to allow North American clubs in to boost the tournament after all why would Americans watch a game they don't play? Why do you fall for this stuff? Anyway Mr. Beaumont has been given a big wedge of money by the SL clubs so they obviously want Leigh back. I'd go for Bradford.
  12. North America sponsorship myth?

    (1) I am sure you meant “naivity” Bob, but maybe it has required the birth of a saviour like Perez to keep the North American dream alive. You are correct that we need to look at what is happening and get an “understanding” of it, before assuming Rugby League will now be saved by the Deity Perez from the Devil incarnate – Rugby Union.. You bet your life you have hit reality, In real life if someone wants to be our friend and spend money on us and want’s to join us and promises future riches then of course we should not be naïve, but we are being naïve. You have naively ignored the player question for far too long. You have ignored the “what’s in it for Perez” question as well. It needs TWP to look to develop North American players for it to "work”. OK some may reply to me that that is a very difficult task that will take 10, 15, 20 years who knows, but TBH I don’t believe that will EVER happen, because there is no infrastructure for Junior ARL in Canada, and pro 14 will only strengthen Canadian RU’s junior game and take the players. English Superleague Clubs produce the players from grass root encouragement through the foundations to offering Pro careers through the academies. You cannot replace them with clubs who do not produce pro players and probably never will. This is all I ask people, and you, to understand. (2) Matt, try some facts. In 2008 Catalans came 3rd. in Superleague and made the semi finals of the play off. At the time they had more quality French senior players (Touxegas, Bosc, Baille, Casty, Stacul, Khattabi, Duport, Elima. Raguin, Fakir. Mounis, Guisset and Pelo – a whole X111) than they do now. This season gone they had 13 overseas players. This last 10 years they have gone backwards Matt.
  13. North America sponsorship myth?

    How can they be better candidates when they have zero professional RL players? The entry requirements to SL include SL clubs having to have significant player development systems. The two guest clubs are from France where they have jointly failed to develop professional players to a level enough to resurrect the French national side from also rans, which they were charged with 2006. Canada will offer no International opposition. Catalans now in their twelfth year started with a Junior game already in existence for them to work with. Last season Catalans had 13 English and Australian pro’s on the books. You may think SL is “odd” and that “Big cities” somehow offer big opportunities. For "Big City's" read on.... How about London Broncos and their development since 1981 or Newcastle’s efforts since 1999, or how well the Manchester clubs are doing (collapsing), or where the Liverpool club went after being in the League from 1934 to 1984? The facts are that RL built a significant infrastructure post the split with Union in 1896 in two English counties, and even then in only parts of them. Still small town Cas can attract 9,000 fans whilst Big city London managed 900. Who is the better bet? Outside the north where RL built the current pro-game Rugby Union ruled and built their own infrastructure we cannot penetrate. You may be in the same bubble other TWP fans are in forgetting the massive infrastructure Canadian RU have built. Someone suggested that “College” footballers would make great RL converts in North America. If they will RU’s pro 14 will be there first. This is why Perez has abandoned all thought of developing Canadian players – as he will likely be developing them for Canadian Union to take. But taking our players just ends up destroying our game. One TWP fan laying bait on another thread suggested as many as three North American clubs in SL by 2021. That's three English SL clubs dumped to the Championship and their player development foundations and academies closed then? I don't expect any real debate on this as the same old slogan is pumped out "Expansion is the way forward in playing numbers" , Not this way it isn't.
  14. League Restructure 2019

    If everyone is entitled to their opinion then why do you tell me what mine is? You blurt out "The potential in North America is enormous" Have you anything to back that up? Did you not know that RL is hardly played there and that most people haven't heard of it as John WP fan admits? Did you not know that Union has a strong foothold in both countries and is street ahead of League there?? Did you not know many other sports are well established over there and there is heavy experienced and rich competition for the NA sports market. Why do you think Perez is offering this investment that is "not costing us a penny? Have you ever considered the Perez plan of putting 5-6 North American clubs into SL over the next 10 years in any detail? Have you not considered how this can be done without them taking well over 100 of our players over there? Have you not thought about what happens to the English SL clubs that step down to Championship to make way for them? What happens to their fans, their directors who back them and their academies who produce players? Are they all supposed to shake Perez's hand for this investment that is "not costing a penny?" Did you not know that once this supposedly happens Perez is to get us a Billion $Dollar TV deal? Once that is in place the North Americans will have control. How long before their sponsors and their fans complain that they don't know where Warrington, Wigan or Hull is and why can't we open a club in Hamilton so we can have an Ontario derby with Toronto Wplfpack?? You see (well you don't see that is the problem) the thing is you don't get owt for nowt in this life. To open up Superleague to North America gives them the chance to grow their game on the back of and at the expense of our game here. Maybe you are the one who doesn't like Superleague and wants to see it eaten up by American Dollars? You blindly throw the word "opportunity" around yet naively believe it is somehow an opportunity for the English game. Mr Perez is not I am afraid Father Christmas.
  15. League Restructure 2019

    Why not let me tell you what I think John? I don’t believe RL will work in North America either way - top down or bottom up. We can’t get it to work outside the north of England. The issue is established sporting markets dominate overall, and Union dominates league massively in the area of Rugby. I’d love to see pro RL expand everywhere but it needs the players ,so it’s a dream as things stand. The only reality is Superleague works. Just. This is only because it’s hung onto it’s history and traditions in a small but populous part of Northern England. It may be an inferior product to NRL who take our top stars whilst we take their surplus pro’s but it’s all we have and it’s so finely balanced that it can’t just start expanding, adding clubs from 3,000 miles away that don’t have any professional players of adequate quality to make a team up, and likely never will. I’ve followed Superleague in detail for every day since it’s inception. 22 years ago. We can’t get people playing it to any standard outside of the M62 motorway the clubs straddle. We have to work very hard to produce players, we have to make the shortage up from the NRL and it’s just a fact that the local rivalries between the clubs keep each other going. It may die a death one day, but it would be put out of it’s misery much sooner if Perez has his way or if the Superleague clubs make rash decisions in the coming years. Now Wood has left Adam Pearson has jumped in and started talking big talk, I am yet to see the article, but I have already seen Bob's reply about it being "anything or nothing" and how it "might" give TWP a chance so I think he get's it. This discussion or argument (I prefer the former) probably has a long way to go yet.......